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General News of Saturday, 26 March 2011

Source: The Herald

MP Cited In US$48 Million Oil Scam

*'I Only Want $1 Million Of That Money' As He Faces Accusation Of Misrepresentation *

By Larry-Alans Dogbey

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament for Abuakwa South has been cited in a complex web of fraud in which a gang of Nigerians with their Ghanaian counterparts are out to dupe the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) a whooping US$48 million over a cargo of crude oil supplied to the refinery which they are falsely claiming ownership.

Holding fake documents bearing ghosts names, misspelled names, untraceable addresses, wrong telephone lines, questionable stamps, among other interesting things, Samuel Atta Akyea is acting as one of the lawyers for one of the numerous claimants to the crude oil, Abibi Energy Ghana Limited, whose documents Nigerian authorities have described as forged.

Court records available to The Herald have also revealed that Mr. Akyea went to court posing as lawyer for two other companies, Kinz Petroleum Ghana Limited and NTHC Limited, but the two companies wrote to the court distancing themselves from him, saying they did not instruct him to initiate any legal process on their behalf.

Mr. Akyea has disclosed to The Herald that Abibi Energy has not paid him any fees yet. He, however, hopes to reap at least a cool One Million Dollars of the US$48 million, if they are successful in their quest. He went on to accuse TOR, Ghana’s state security apparatus and one Dzakpa at the presidency, of fraud, and added that some officials are out to cover-up a stinking deal.

The MP mentioned a certain Princess Ake of Orisa Oil Well and one Charles Igbe formerly of Intercontinental Bank- Alaba Branch – as having aided officials of TOR and Sahara Group of companies, to steal his clients’ crude oil delivered to the refinery sometime last year, with a hurriedly drafted sale and purchase agreement dated August 18, 2010.

In an interview in his office last Monday, the NPP MP who has already been to court but had his injunction against the refinery thrown out by Justice Barbara Ackah-Yensu of the High Court-Commercial Division revealed he does not know the office location and address of the Abibi Energy, here in Ghana, except one Owen Palmer, domiciled in Italy.

The court further slapped Mr. Akyea with a cost of GH¢500, in favour of the Tema Oil Refinery. His injunction was for a court order to prevent TOR from paying the lawful owners of the oil, Refinee Petroplus, owned by the all-powerful Sahara Group of companies, which has an overwhelming link to Nigerian presidency.

He admitted that his clients which include Diamond Shipping Limited owned by one Dr. Maureen Nwangwu-Iduh, does not have Letters of Credit (LC) from any bank covering the transaction between TOR and Abibi Energy Ghana Limited, but rather a “payment undertaking” dated June2, 2010, signed by MD of TOR, Mr. Ato Ampiah and the General Manager of Finance, Prince Ofosu Adjei.

The said Owen Palmer, identified as CEO/President of Abibi Energy Ghana Limited and based in the Italian city of Parma, when reached by The Herald, asked that The Herald should speak with his local manager, Mr. Appiah, on 0243403041.

The paper noticed that the said Appiah is different from one Ms. Charmaine Kelly who, on the records of the courts, is also identified as an agent of Abibi Energy Ghana. Mr. Appiah later called The Herald, and gave his number and e-mail address as 02443403041(sic) and appiahmail:abibifoods@live.com, and promised to reach the paper later for a discussion.

TOR AND NNPC

Another document in possession of The Herald has revealed that TOR did due diligence on Abibi Energy Ghana by writing to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to authenticate some documents it received from Abibi Energy Ghana.

However, NNPC wrote back saying that the documents from Mr. Akyea’s clients, Abibi Energy Ghana, were fake, and asked the Tema Oil Refinery to “be guided accordingly.” The warning was contained in a letter dated November 8, 2010 and signed by G. Jedy-Agba, Group General Manager of Crude Oil Marketing Division.

Apart from Dr. Maureen Nwangwu-Iduh’s Diamond Shipping Limited, others who are also claiming ownership of the same crude oil are Zicokem Limited/Asset Ikram SDN.BDN Lagos, Nigeria. There are other reports saying that a certain political party in Nigeria stole the oil and sold it to TOR with the intension of using the proceeds to finance their campaign in elections due next month.

All the NNPC documents labeled as fake came from one Dr. Johnson Ogunshola. He variously identified himself in the documents a director of the Crude Oil Marketing Division at Abuja-Nigeria, and in other instances, vaguely signed only as an officer of the same Crude Oil Marketing Division.

Dr. Johnson Ogunshola, in other letters, claimed that the crude oil in question is a Forcados Blend Crude Oil, while in other letters, he said it was rather Brass Crude Oil that was supplied to TOR, implying, therefore, that two different types of crude oil loaded at separate terminals, were rather impossibly onboard the same shipping vessel.

Furthermore, in one of documents, Abibi Energy was named as Obibi Energy. Interestingly, it was only this document that mentioned Abibi Energy as one of the numerous claimants to the crude oil.

According to the letter sent to TOR, the NNPC office in Nigeria can be located in Garki-Abuja. It has 09-2348200-17 as its telephone number. But Dr. Johnson Ogunshola’s letters stated the address of the NNPC in Lagos not Abuja, and the telephone numbers as (01) 603100 (30), and claimed that the Abuja office was rather for administrative purposes.

Another interesting thing is that the NNPC letter which described Abibi Energy Ghana Limited claims as false, mentioned Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke as Minister of Petroleum, Mr. Augustine O. Oniwon (GMD) – (GED. R&P), Mr. Philip O. Chukwu (GED. B&P) as members of the NNPC Executive Board.

Other members of the board are Dr. Attahir B. Yusif (GED. C&I), Mr. Michael A. Arokodare (GED. F&A), Mr. Aminu A. Babakusa (GED. Special Services), Mr. Faithful A. Abbryesuku (GED. CS), Engr. Billy Agha (GED E & T) and Prof. Yinka Moorage Secretary/ Legal Adviser to the Corporation.

Dr. Johnson Ogunshola’s letters bear no other names apart from Dr. Johnson Ogunshola, who seems not to exist.

The Herald is in possession of a document purportedly from the Nigerian office of INTERPOL on the matter, and which the paper is investigating to authenticate.

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